Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks to Carole Young-Kleinfeld for maintaining this section of our website.

If you have a question, or if you have a question AND answer, which you think would be relevant to all our members, please email it to and we will do our best to post question and answer for all.

* Managing Non-DMV OLVR Reminders

posted Dec 8, 2014, 12:32 PM by Carole Young-Kleinfeld

We keep getting reminders in the Online Voter Registration section of CVRS that some new non-DMV voters are “pending”, even though we know that they have already sent in their voter registration application cards and have been processed.  Once these voters are registered, how can we remove them from the Reminders page of CVRS?

First, be sure to verify that these applicants have already been processed—by doing an Inquiry. Then, you can go back to the “Reminders” page. Click on “Go to VR”, and type in the voter’s name in the top Search box that will appear. When the matched voter’s information pops up below, click on “No Further Action Required”.  This should clear that voter from your OLVR Reminders.

If you know the voter is registered but no matched voter’s info pops up after you’ve used the Search box, stop and check your records (including the voter’s card) for misspellings, typos, name changes, etc. Don’t click on “No Further Action Required” until you’re sure you have the voter’s correct information on your official list.  

How do I use the CVRS II Petitions Module

posted May 21, 2014, 1:48 PM by Fred DeCaro III

A Quick Start Guide:

To create a petition:
    Under Maintain Town Data
Choose Town Petitions
Name the petition with a good description

To indicate an elector signed a petition
    Under Maintain Voter History
Select Petition History
Search for a voter
Select the voter
The most recent petition created will already be selected.
Save the voter

To print a list of people who signed a petition
Registrar Maintenance
Petition Voter Detail

*Demonstrator Devices & Demonstrators

posted Oct 18, 2013, 10:41 AM by Carole Young-Kleinfeld   [ updated Oct 18, 2013, 10:43 AM ]

Q. Are demonstrators and demonstrator devices required anymore at the polling places?  
A: According to the Secretary of the State’s office and 9-260, a demonstrator device should be “available” for someone who needs/wants it. 
But it does not have to be playing constantly all day like before. Regulation 9-242a-6 (Election Officials) states that demonstrators are required to be used only at the first time the machines were used in the municipality.  So, technically, they are no longer required.  However, someone (other poll workers) at the polls must be available to assist or demonstrate to an elector who requests help.

*Questions About Petitions for Municipal Offices

posted Jul 24, 2013, 8:26 AM by Carole Young-Kleinfeld   [ updated Jul 24, 2013, 8:29 AM ]

Q: My local town committee bylaws have a petition requirement of 1% of enrolled voters, instead of 5% as stated in state laws.  Since the petition is for a potential primary in that party, do their rules override the statute?

A: Check Section 9-406. Filing of primary petition candidacies for municipal offices and town committee members. …Any such candidacy shall be filed by filing with the registrar—within the applicable time specified in section 9-405—a petition signed by (1) at least 5% of the electors whose names appear upon the last-completed enrollment list of such party in such municipality or in such political subdivision, senatorial district or assembly district, or (2) such lesser number of such electors as such party by its rules prescribes, as the case may be. Compute this percentage by using the last printed certified party enrollment list prior to the date the first primary petition was issued (updated to exclude names of individuals who ceased to be electors).  

Q: I just received my party’s endorsement. Can I also appear on the ballot as a nominating petition candidate?

A: Check Section 9-453t. The nomination of a candidate by a major party shall disqualify such candidate from appearing on the ballot by nominating petition unless (1) the petition is circulated by an existing minor party and (2) the minor party is otherwise qualified to nominate candidates on the same ballot. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any candidate from appearing on the ballot as the nominee of two or more major or minor parties for the same office.

Q:  If a candidate submits a nominating petition, and then wins their party’s nomination, can the candidate ask to withdraw their petition?

A:  Yes, the candidate would be given the chance either to stay as a petitioning candidate or to take the party endorsement, unless the exceptions in Q2 apply.

*Find Election Bills on the CGA Website

posted Feb 21, 2013, 12:45 PM by Carole Young-Kleinfeld   [ updated Jul 24, 2013, 8:30 AM ]

Q:  How do I find out which election-related bills are being considered by the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) Committee at their public hearings?

A:  There are several ways to get this information. Always start by going to the front page of the Connecticut General Assembly website. Here are a few choices.


1. If you have a specific bill in mind and know the number, enter it in the Quick Search box Number____. Click GO and read the bill’s language and bill history.


2. By checking the GAE home page:

  •        On the Connecticut General Assembly home page, pull down the menu for Committees (A-H), and select Government Administration and Elections.
  •     The GAE Committee page will display links for Contact Committee and For the Record.
  •     Click on Agendas to view the public hearing agenda of your choice.
  •    You can view other categories, such as Bill Record Book (for all bills and their disposition), Vote Tally Sheets (to check how committee members voted on each bill), and more.


3. By calendar date:

  •    View the calendar on the GGA front page.  Click on a specific date to see the events scheduled at the Capitol.
  •   Review the list of meetings and events for that date, and look for "Government Administration and Elections Public Hearing". Time and location of the hearing are listed.
  •  Click on that item to see a list of the proposed bills scheduled for that particular public hearing, including links to the individual bills.
  •   If the links don’t work, return to the CGA home page and enter the bill number along the top bar. Click GO and the bill should open.

*What do these acronyms mean and how can I find out more about them?

posted Feb 4, 2013, 6:52 AM by Carole Young-Kleinfeld   [ updated Jul 24, 2013, 8:30 AM ]

AAC                “An Act Concerning…”  Proposed bills and public acts begin with this phrase.

AG                   Attorney General. Connecticut’s AG is George Jepsen, elected 2010.

CCM               Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

COST             Connecticut Council of Small Towns.

CGA                CT General Assembly. Connecticut’s state legislative body: Senate and House of Representatives.  Browse statutes, view proposed laws,  and find your state legislators.  

EDR                Election Day Registration.  Law is effective in Connecticut on July 1, 2013.

FOI                  Freedom of Information. The FOI Act is enforced by the FOI Commission which is part of the Office of Governmental Accountability. According to their website, the “Freedom of Information Commission's mission is to administer and enforce the provisions of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act, and to thereby ensure citizen access to the records and meetings of public agencies in the State of Connecticut.”  

FPCA             Federal Post Card Application—used by military and overseas voters to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.See  and  

FWAB            Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot—a blank back-up absentee ballot to be used by active military and overseas voters. See    and

GAE                Government Administration and Elections Committee of the CGA. This bi-partisan committee enacts elections laws.  

HAVA              Help America Vote Act. U.S. federal law passed in 2002 following the 2000 presidential election.  Notable features include: replacement of lever and punchcard voting systems, standards for all voting systems, requirements for voting systems for electors with disabilities, establishment of the federal Elections Assistance Commission (EAC), voter identification, provisional ballots for voters in specified circumstances, required development of electronic statewide voter registration systems, improved access to voting for military and overseas voters, and grants to states. 

HB or SB        House Bill or Senate Bill.

IVS                  Inspire Vote-by-Phone System. Polling place fax print voting system that allows a voter to generate a paper ballot by voting with a polling place telephone and fax machine. The IVS machine must be available and ready for voters to use at each polling place in CT.

LEAD             Legislation and Elections Administration Division, the division of the Secretary of the State’s office that oversees elections. Peggy Reeves, appointed in 2010, is the Director of LEAD.

                        LOB                 Legislative Office Building. Right next door to the Capitol. Public hearings take place here.

NVRA              National Voter Registration Act of 1993, U.S. federal law, known as the Motor Voter Act. Among other things, it required states to offer voter registration services through various social service agencies, at programs serving persons with disabilities, and at motor vehicle agencies when eligible voters renew, change addresses,  or apply for drivers licenses. It also allows mail-in voter registration applications, individual voter registration drives, and designations of other offices as voter registration agencies . See the US Department of Justice’s website for FAQs about the NVRA.

OLR               Office of Legislative Research. Non-partisan office of the CGA that conducts research for legislators, staffs legislative committees, and publishes their findings and reports online.

UOCAVA       Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act –a US federal law that covers all active-duty members of the Uniformed Services and their families, members of the merchant marine and their families, and US citizens who reside overseas, and assists them in exercising their right to vote. In Connecticut, get more information about military and overseas voting at

SOTS             Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut.  Denise Merrill is the Secretary, elected in 2010.   

SEEC             State Elections Enforcement Commission, State of Connecticut. Michael Brandi is the Executive Director. The SEEC investigates possible violations of the election laws, inspects campaign finance records and reports, refers evidence of violations to the Chief State's Attorney or to the Attorney General, issues advisory opinions and makes recommendations to the General Assembly concerning revisions to the state's election laws. 

                        VRA               Voting Rights Act of 1965. Landmark U.S. federal law that outlawed discriminatory practices in voting.  Notable features include outlawing literacy tests for voter registration, pre-clearance of proposed elections law changes in specific states, and requiring bilingual ballots in specified states. See the US Department of Justice’s website for more:

Need more acronyms? The CT General Assembly has a long list here


*Where can I find the November 5, 2013 Election Calendar?

posted Feb 4, 2013, 6:19 AM by Carole Young-Kleinfeld   [ updated Jul 24, 2013, 8:31 AM ]

Find it at

*What press, media, or news activities are allowed in a polling place?

posted Jan 22, 2013, 7:26 AM by Carole Young-Kleinfeld   [ updated Jul 24, 2013, 8:31 AM ]

In 2000, LEAD Director Mike Kozik drafted a letter, on behalf of then-Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, regarding exit polling. This letter included the Secretary’s directive regarding media at the polls on Election Day, pursuant to General Statutes 9-236.  It stated that “News media personnel may enter the voting room to observe the election (which includes taking photographs or video-taping)…” but that the law also states that any such news media representatives who interfere with the orderly process of voting may be evicted by the polling place moderator. Interviews with voters may not take place within the room where voting is taking place, but may take place either outside or inside the 75-foot limit. 

According to Av Harris, Director of Communications for Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, in a recent message to Westport’s registrars of voters, “We have not changed our interpretation of this statute since then, and our instruction to media has always been that still photography and stock video footage are allowed in the polls according to state statute.  The photo and/or video teams can photograph a general scene of voters casting ballots, but are not to focus on any person's ballot choices or be disruptive in any way at the polls.  If media are found to be disruptive or violating voter privacy by focusing on their ballot choices they can be asked to leave by the moderator…”

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